Choosing the right pre-primary school for your child. By Nihit Agarwal
It is admission time again, and we keep hearing from parents that they are confused and cannot decide which pre-school to choose for their child. With various pre and primary schools that have come up, it has become very difficult for parents to decide which one is right for them. Most of the schools within Thane are conventional schools, and no one is looking at a philosophy that is unconventional and looks at various other things in the development of the child. Especially in today’s lifestyle, we tend to follow the rest and go with what the others are going with, and we end up compromising on what is actually needed for the child. It was during this search for the right pre-school, that we ended up at The Reading Tree – Pre Primary School at Hiranandani Estate, Thane.
Ms. Sapna Chouhan is the founder, and has been running this school for the past 12 years. The Reading Tree is a Waldorf inspired pre-school, and has been accredited with The British Council International School Award twice in a row. The British Council International School Award supports the school in embedding international learning into the curriculum. Working towards it gives children and teachers a new perspective on the world, and the skills to work in a global economy.
The Reading Tree is into early childhood education and a home to children from Playgroup to Senior K.G. It is child-centric, where emphasis in on overall developmental needs of the child. It concentrates on ‘Learning by Doing’. It inculcates different methodology based on the experiences and learnings with the children. It is inspired by great education philosophers Rudolf Steiner, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabrindranath Tagore. This blend helps them to design a curriculum which is infused by a unique understanding of a child’s developmental needs. A critical cornerstone of our educational approach is the development of each child as a whole person.
It is an alternative approach from that of a more mainstream preschool. The children are welcomed by teachers with a hug and nurtured in a home-like set up. They follow a predictable routine with days set for painting, art and crafts, sensory play, cooking etc. The curriculum is an integration of arts and academics for children from Playgroup through Senior K.G. The child’s imagination is brought alive through stories, role plays, nature walks and involving them in day to day activities.
The class rooms are designed to recreate home like atmosphere where children feel comfortable, safe and inspired to learn. These spaces create an environment that is not only homely and protective, but also very personal to the child where they carry out day to day activities like cooking, baking, art and crafts, reading, story-telling as a part of their academics. It seeks to provide an unhurried and creative learning environment for children. ‘The Reading Tree’ school program helps children understand the world by providing predictability through rhythm which is a gentle repetition of everyday activities.
They are strongly grounded in faith that it is equally important for children to get involved and learn outside the classroom. Children have outdoor play, nature walks, gardening, star gazing and activities that reinforce the child’s connection with nature. Learning in ‘The Reading Tree’ is an imaginative, enlivening, and creative process. The integration of art, crafts, handwork, rhymes, drama and storytelling in every subject evokes interest within the child which he will take away as life’s lessons when he grows up to become an adult.
In the end, we would suggest that visit various schools out there, and try and understand which one is doing the right kind of work. And which one will be the most beneficial for your child. Children are like delicate souls and need to be dealt with very delicately and with the appropriate care.